Thursday, December 31, 2009


I hope that the new year is a good one for all of you!  New Year! New Decade!
Rhonda "Roo"

"If you can dream it, you can do it."
Walt Disney

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Say THANKS to our troops

Let the service members know that you are thinking of them and appreciate their willingness to sacrifice for you and your family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Check out this Giveaway

One of the blogs that I read, SCRIBBIT/A BLOG ABOUT MOTHERHOOD IN ALASKA (a favorite by the way!), is doing a great giveaway, compliments of HP.  CHECK IT OUT!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted any really good news, but today is different:

Trevor went for his check up with his cardiologist today.  His heart sounds good.  He doesn't have to go back to see the cardiologist for a year.  He has no limitations.  He can play any sport his little heart desires and he is no longer considered "high risk" when it comes to things like flu shots and such. 

As my sister said (TMan's Mom), "He's our HEALTHY, normal, ORNERY little boy :0) We couldn't ask for anything more!!!"

He is a good little kid and keeps us all entertained.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers over the past several months.  They truly do help.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Are You Ready?

November 1 …. Are you ready for what lies ahead?

I’ve been looking at my calendar and can’t believe everything that lies ahead. Nearly every weekend this month has something going on. Thanksgiving is less than 4 weeks away; time out with friends; Holiday Food and Gift Festival with the family; and lots of cleaning to do. Christmas is less than 8 weeks away… Got your shopping done yet?

So everyone, put on your running shoes and all of your festive holiday garb and let’s enjoy the fun times ahead of us.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Show Your Metal

You Are Copper

You are provocative and challenging.
You help people realize who they really are.

You live a very balanced life.

You always take time for love and art.

You are both a powerful and generous person.
You always have time to give back.

People find you to be incredibly ethical and loyal.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I feel so much better...

For a week now I've been harboring some anger toward a friend because of an incindent that took place a week ago.  It hurt me (not physically) and shattered me for days.  I was truly angry and hurt.

I had nearly decided that because I had not addressed it immediately that I was going to let it go, but I would not let it happen again.  However, an opportunity presented itself a few days ago and I tried to address the issue.  It was blown off and nothing was resolved.  I made up my mind that I would not bring it up again, but as I said, I would not let it happen again.

Well, I was asked about it it this evening.  I told my friend that I was not going to bring it up again, but they stopped me and apologized profusely.  They told me that looking back now they realized how horrible they were.  I thanked my friend for the apology and told them that their apology meant a great deal to me.  It was all that I had been wanting for a week. 

Because of this incident and the way things unfolded throughout the week I was truly afraid that our friendship was doomed.  I was afraid of what I thought was a severe change in my friend.  After our discussion this evening, I realize this is not the case and our friendship is fine.

I really need to learn how to stand up to people.  However, given what I learned this evening, I needed to just let this lie for a few days.  Standing up to the friend at the time would not have accomplished anything. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So... What would you change and when?

If you were granted the wish of going back in time, how far back would you go? Once back to that time, what would you change?

Do you know when something happened that might have changed your life's journey? At what point in your life can you say "If I had gone 'left' there instead of 'right' my life would be better." And how do you know that it would be better? How do you know it wouldn't have taken you down an even uglier road than what you think you are already on.

I think we've all had that "What-if?" thought, but be honest with yourself ... do you realy want to find out?  Try not to look back.  I've heard this stated in many different ways, but remember "Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow is unknown and not guaranteed, Today is a gift and that's why we call it the present."  If you want to make changes, do it today.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


There is a blog that I follow that directed me to another blog with a heart-wrenching story about this 2 year old boy. I thought that the least I could do is post a link to Jaden's story and share it with those of you that read my blog. Click on Jaden's name above to read the story.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Mountain Dew cookin'

One of the replies to the Mountain Dew cupcakes was about Mountain Dew dumplings (thanks Cindy via Kristen's FB page).

Mt. Dew Apple Dumplings - Mmm Mmm Good!!


2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 (10 oz) can refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz) can or bottle of Mountain Dew


Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Cut each apple into 8 wedges. Separate the crescent dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Mountain Dew cupcakes anyone?

One of my friends on Facebook mentioned that she had just tried Mountain Dew cupcakes and that they were totally worth the effort. After a request or two for the recipe she posted the link to Cassie's blog How to Eat a Cupcake and the recipe for Mountain Dew cupcakes. I haven't tried them yet, but I plan to. If you try them be sure to post a review.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Are you a mermaid or a whale?

I can not take credit for this one. A co-worker forwarded it to me. I have no idea where it originated but to whoever it wrote GOOD JOB!

Recently, in large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said: THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE? A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places likePatagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia.

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they? Therefore they don't have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, goodness, look how smart I am........

Monday, July 27, 2009

Manassa Pioneer Days Parade Grand Marshal

I wanted to wait and write this post when I had the picture(s) available, but I also want to put this in for Lori's Perfect Moment Monday. So I'll write the post and then add the picture when I get home later tonight.

My Grandfather, Cletus T Rogers, is 95 years old. He was born and raised in Manassa, Colorado. This year for the annual Manassa Pioneer Days Celebration, he and his friend Bill Allen served as the parade Grand Marshals. We were all excited for him. It was an honor for him. He and Bill are two of the few surviving members of the Class of 1932.

Thank you to those that made it possible and honored these two men, especially my Grandpa.

Bill Allen is in the back seat and Cletus, my Grandpa, is in the front seat.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

List Your Self - Week 4

Here's the next List Your Self entry. Enjoy!




















Have fun with these and please feel free to share your lists in the comments if you would like to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Old Friends

My Mom has a friend that she has known since they were both 3 years old! I think that is so cool.

Sadly her friend, Jacquie, had a stroke last year and is struggling right now to regain her speech. Other than that she seems to be recovering very well. Mom has been spending more time with her recently helping her get back and forth to her therapy sessions. I personally think it has been very good for their friendship.

Jacquie came to Mom & Dad’s on July 4th and had dinner with us. It was good to see her. Here is a picture of the friends that have known each other for about 64 years!!! (Jacquie is on the left and Mom is on the right)

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I've been "Aunt Rhonda" or "Auntie Roo" to a lot of kids... my friends kids. But you know what, being Auntie Roo or Roo to my own nephew is the best! I wouldn't give up the days with the other kids for anything, but I'm loving this role.

Trevor came and stayed with me again Friday night. When I got to Grandma & Grandpa's to pick him up, Grandma (Mimi) asked if we were going to stay for dinner. I said we probably would. I didn't know that Trevor had other plans. When Momma got home he was ready to go. When I asked him what we were going to do for dinner he said "HAMBURGER HELPER"! So we stopped @ Super WalMart on the way to my apartment and got the fixin's for Sloppy Joe Hamburger Helper. I even offered to buy a pizza, but he was set on the HH. I think one reason is because the first time he and Momma came to my place and ate dinner I made HH. I'm such a gourmet cook sometimes!

We watched Thomas for a while, played with trains, watched Yogi & Boo Boo and then went to bed.

Momma came over Saturday and we all three went to the pool to go swimming. They were having the annual pool party. I wasn't sure it would be a good idea. I thought it would be pretty crowded and too hot. Well, we found a place in the shade to set up our chairs and the crowd really wasn't bad. They had a few drawings for prizes. We all three got tickets. We were getting ready to leave and they announced that they would be doing the last drawing in about 20 minutes and it was a pretty good prize... $50 off rent... but you had to be present to win. So we decided to hang around. Well they called one of our numbers! I got a $50 credit on my rent for July!!!! It was worth the wait.

Afterwards, Momma went to visit her friend Marion, but T didn't want to go. "I'll stay with Roo." So Momma left, T played computer games while I got ready to go to dinner. T and I went to see my friend Gary for a few minutes and then we went and met Momma and Marion for dinner. Later on it was back to my apartment to gather their stuff and head home.

Today I worked on replacing the belt on my vacuum cleaner. It's not that hard, just a pain in the behind!!! I got that done and did some vacuuming. Then I got an invitation for a motorcycle ride if I would buy lunch! SURE THING!!! It was a nice ride and a good lunch. I even tried Rocky Mountain Oysters! They aren't bad once you get past the idea of what they are.

As we finished lunch, my phone rang... Mom's ring (You're Momma Don't Dance and Your Daddy Don't Rock & Roll!). When I answered I was SHOCKED to hear the little guy's voice on the phone. See, he just doesn't like to talk on the phone. He didn't even want to talk to Momma when she called Friday night!!! He asked me if I wanted to go on a picnic. I told him that I had just eaten lunch, but asked where they were going. He told me that they were going to the park that we went to last weekend. Well, since it was HIM that called ME, how could I not go? So I told him that I would meet them at the park a little bit later. I went and we all had a good time.

When it was time to go home he thought he should come over to my place again, but we had to tell him that since Momma and I both had to work tomorrow that it just wouldn't work out this time. We are already planning our July 4th picnic celebration though.

I love the little guy and am so glad that he is finally starting to be my little buddy. I do however miss all the kids that used to call me Aunt Rhonda, or Auntie Roo. Most are grown up now and starting to have their own families. Others I just don't get to see often enough. I love you all!!!

Hope you had a good weekend too! Enjoy the week. For me it will be a short one. No work on Friday!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25, 1909

(circa 1943) June 25, 1909, Marvin Otis Rankin was born. He is my paternal Grandfather. He would have been 100 years old today. He passed away August 20, 1995.

To say he was an AVID fisherman and outdoorsman in general, is an understatement. He is the one that taught me how to cast a fishing line. We have notebooks that he kept when he was fishing. He would record weather conditions, wind direction, water temperature, what kind of bait was used, etc.

He was a hunter, and trapper as well. He would trap beavers, muskrats, fox, etc. and sell the pelts. This was not a "sport" for him. He sold these pelts to help with the family's expenses.

He was a rural route postal carrier for 40 years. When Chris and I visited for more than a couple of days we got to go out with him for part of his route. That was pretty cool!

He was also the local weatherman for many years. He had an official NOAA weather station set up in the yard. Each day he had to record the day's high and low temperatures as well as precipitation. I believe he also had a machine to record maximum wind speed for the day. Once a week he reported this information to the local weekly newspaper, The Wet Mountain Tribune. For many, many years his picture appeared in the paper next to his report. We granddaughters were greatly disappointed when they quit printing his picture. As television became more regional and less local, he started reporting his weather information to one of the television stations in Colorado Springs/Pueblo. Hearing the weatherman say his name on television kind of made up for no picture in the paper. When Grandpa died, they even acknowledged his passing on the newscast.

He was a camping enthusiast as well. I think we did more camping with him and Grandma than we did with our folks. There were even times when Grandpa would set up a tent in the backyard for us to camp in out there.

I miss you Grandpa and still love you dearly. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
(Clockwise back left - Chris, Mom, Dad, Me, Grandma, Grandpa - August 1994, 2 months before Grandma passed away)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Friday morning I was nominated for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD. Thank you Stacey @ All Stace, All the time.


1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I don't know that I have 15 blogs that I can nominate, but I'll do my best.

In no particular order:

Heather @ 7kidsandadog
Live and Learn the Hard Way (I'm sorry... I don't know her name!!!)

I'll have to do some research and find some others to nominate. In the meantime, thanks for the enjoyment and entertainment ladies.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

List Your Self - Week 3

Ok... it's been a few weeks, but I'm back. We had a birthday/anniversary dinner a few weeks ago, prepping for a garage sale last week, and one week I just forgt! Here's the next List Your Self entry. Enjoy!




















Have fun with these and please feel free to share your lists in the comments if you would like to.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

List Your Self - Week 2

LIST YOUR SELF - Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery. By Ilene Segalove & Paul Bob Velick




















  • SUDDENLY YOU'VE BEEN GRANTED LUNCH WITH GOD LIST YOUR GRIEVANCES (This one should cause some serious thought!)

Have fun with these and please feel free to share your lists in the comments if you would like to.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Final Post-Final Follow-up Visit

Well, we got a good report at Trevor's final follow-up visit. We saw Dr Schaffer, and had an EKG and Echo done. Trevor was very scared of the stickers they have to put on him to do the EKG and Echo, because they really hurt coming off. His skin is so sensitive, and in the hospital they ripped so much tape and stuff off of him, that he hates band-aids and stickers on his skin!!! He was also very scared that when we went in to have the Echo done, that there was going to be "blood". We promised him no "blood" and told him to try and relax and enjoy his Thomas movie. Once that got going he was fine, but he was very leary of the whole appointment. That's to be expected because when he actually went in for his surgery, he felt great, but when he came out he was sore and all cut up and felt like "poo".

Anyway, everything looks great!!! Even the Sonographer was telling us his pictures looked good, and he doesn't usually say a word except to chat with Trevor. Trevor is currently taking Lasix and Digoxin (has been on Digoxin since he was 3 months old). Dr Schaffer told us to continue the Lasix for 2 more weeks, and then stop it, and to continue the Digoxin for 5 more months, and then we can stop that too. That means that he won't have to take any more medicine, which has actually been an everyday thing for us since he was 3 months old. Hallelujah!!! Not that it was terrible, but it will just be nice to not have to remember to take it on a daily basis.

I asked the question, how will they know that the Contegra needs to be replaced, and he said like usual, they will be watching the right ventricle because if the Contegra is wearing out, it will start to leak into the right ventricle again. That shouldn't be for at least 10 years, but I was just curious how they would know. And he assured me again, that replacing it will not take another open heart surgery. They will be able to replace it in the cath lab!!! Hooray!!!

I must say that everyone's prayers has helped this go so smoothly and we really appreciate all of them!!!

Love to all!!!

The Matsons

Don't Forget to Click

The Breast Cancer Site

Don't forget to visit the Breast Cancer Site and click to help with donations of mammograms.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

In honor of the memory of my friend Marla, I intend to repost this blog post each year on May 1.

Have a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

List Your Self - Week 1

Back in the fall I wrote about a book I found, LIST YOUR SELF - Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery.

I've decided to share some of this with you. I'll try to do it on a regular basis (hopefully each Wednesday). I'll list the category and then the list title.




















Have fun with these and please feel free to share your lists in the comments if you would like to.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Final Visit to the Hospital today

Posted 4 minutes ago
Well, Trevor had his follow-up visit to his surgery today. It went great. Everything looks good, and he got those "nasty" stitches out. He was a real trooper. He kind of freaked out when he realized they were going to be messing with them, but the actual removal of them was not bad at all. He's well on his way to recovery, and it's been hard slowing him down.

Next appointment is May 4th with his cardiologist, Dr Schaffer, and hopefully he will tell us, see you next year.

Thanks again for all of your prayers. They have surely helped!!!


Monday, April 20, 2009


OMG! Have you heard about Susan Boyle from Britains Got Talent? You really need to check it out. FANTASTIC!!!!!!! (click on her name above)

Best of luck Susan. GO GET 'EM for all of us that are not beauty queens and have had similar dreams that have been killed.


There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We're Home

Posted 10 hours ago

Well, we did it, or I should say Trevor did it. We got out of the hospital in record time. The better he started feeling, the less he wanted to be there. And when he found out we didn't have to constantly stay in the room, that was all she wrote. The longer we were gone from the room the better. The day Kaitlyn came, the nurse got a little worried thinking we had broken out of the joint.

Last night he did really good. He ate some Mac and Cheese, or as he corrects me and says, it's "Macaroni and Cheese". He kept that down, and wanted french toast and eggs this morning. His nurse from the the night before figured out that we should try and get medicine in pill form, and crush them up and give it to him in a spoonful of pudding. Thank goodness. That was a great idea and worked like magic. He still gets a little queezy from his meds, but at least they don't get his gagger right away, and they have time to digest. In case you are interested, he is on Furosemide (which is a diuretic), and will continue his Digoxin (which helps the heart beat stronger). He also got a prescription for ibuprophin for pain, but can guarantee he will only be taking Tylenol. Anything else, once again, gets his gagger. He should only be on the Furosemide for a couple of weeks, and he's been on the Digoxin since his first surgery, so I'm not sure if he will have to take that forever or if they can take him off of it now. That will be a question at his follow-up appointment.

Anyway, his oxygen was dipping down into 80's last night with oxygen "blowing by" his face, so I was thinking he would probably come home today, but that he would probably have to come home on oxygen, which I wasn't looking forward to. Been there done that and it's not fun. Like a miracle this morning, his oxygen on room air was 93% or better for the most part. I was thrilled!!! So we got to come home without oxygen. WoooHooo!!! Honestly, you don't know how thrilling that is. Just from the experience we had from his last surgery, he ended up on oxygen for 3 months. Every appointment we went to, and they put the pulse ox on his finger to measure his oxygen, we would all breath deep, as if that would help Trevor's oxygen level. Anyway, it was a huge relief to see his oxygen level today.

We have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday, April 21st, and he will get his stitches from his tubes out. He's probably not going to be real happy that day. But at least there are no stitches to come out on his incision.

Well, I think I'm rambling. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight. I'm sure Trevor feels the same. I would just like to thank everyone for their love, prayers, and support during this journey. I know all the prayers helped in his speedy recovery.

Love to all!!!


From Auntie Roo:

I would like to add my thanks to all of you out there in the blogosphere. We/I truly appreciate the support from everyone.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Home again, home again, jiggity jig!!!

Nothing too extravagant.... just had to mark the occasion.



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wednesday is looking good...

Posted 2 minutes ago
Trevor wasn't quite as happy this evening as he was yesterday evening. He had kind of bad night Monday night, in that most of his medicines kept making him sick to his stomach and some of the liquid medicines would trigger his gag reflex... not good.

He was up and active throughout the day though. Papa tells me he was RUNNING down the hall! I knew we wouldn't be able to keep him down long.

He's still having a little trouble keeping his oxygen levels up. It has been hovering around 90% and they want it to stay closer to 98%+.

We are still very hopeful that in Wednesday's update we'll be able to tell everyone that he is at home, but we'll have to wait and see.

Keep your fingers crossed that he goes home on Wednesday. That would make his day... maybe even his week!!!


Auntie Roo :-)

Monday's update

as posted by Momma...

Day 4
Posted 12 hours ago
Well, Trevor just keeps doing better and better. He kind of had a rough morning, not being able to keep anything down, but they've switched all of his meds that he might have been getting intraveniously to oral, so with little or nothing in your stomach, it's hard to keep them down. Anyway, it's gotten a little better, but I'm sure the skinny little guy has lost a pound or 3 that he couldn't really afford to. We'll have to work on that when he gets his appetite back. Although, with all the running he did with a "bad" heart, he's probably going to be running even more now, so putting on weight is going to be hard for him. I wish I had that problem;0)

So, he was kind of having a rough day since Daddy went home. He is tired of being here, just wanted to go home too. After seeming a little depressed, Kaitlyn showed up, and really perked him right up. That's just what he needed was a little Kaitlyn therapy. They had fun riding in the wagon, and watching the "marble game", and "exploring" the place. Kaitlyn isn't old enough to come up to the CPCU, so we hung out down in the lobby and they had a ball. It must be OK here if a 6 year old says "this place is really cool", as she is leaving.

Well, after such a big day, Trevor is now fast asleep, only to be woke up in just a few minutes to get some nausea medicine so he can then keep down his Lasix. That got his gagger this morning, and got it again tonight.

Love to all!!!

P.S. From Auntie Roo... SO GLAD to see his smile coming back. We hadn't seen that since Friday morning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Getting better every day

Posted 11 minutes ago

Trevor continues to progress nicely.

All of the drainage tubes were removed earlier this morning and the final tube in his groin was removed early this afternoon. Poor little guy has had enough of all this though. He kept telling the nurse to QUIT and GO AWAY!!! Anyway, the only tubes he has left are the oxygen tube and one IV tube in his foot. Oxygen we'll probably be turned off tomorrow, but the IV tube will probaly stay until he is released. This is in place for blood draws (if necessary) and medication administration that can't be given orally. We're all thinking that today he is just plain ticked off at us all. He wouldn't smile and didn't want to talk to anyone.

He is up on the "Step Up" floor now. The next step is going home.

He's been up and walking just a bit. He had a wild cherry Slurpee this afternoon. Tonight he had his first real food, chicken fingers and french fries.

I asked him this afternoon how he was doing. His reply "Not good." So I asked him if he was better than yesterday. He replied "Yeah." So I guess he's feeling a little bit better.

And just so you all know... the Easter Bunny didn't forget him. He found him in the hospital and he left something at Mimi & Papa's house as well.

Daddy will be going home tomorrow. That won't be easy, but he has to get back to work. At least he can go knowing that Trevor is doing well.

I will be posting some more pictures so check the gallery.

Love to you all!

Auntie Roo :-)


I hope you all have a wonderful day. What a wonderful day to remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for each of us, giving us the blessing of the atonement and for his resurrection.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday evening update

Posted 13 minutes ago

Trevor continues to progress. Here are the highlights of Saturday:

1. The catheter was removed. NO MORE DIAPER!!!

2. Moved out of the baby bed to a big-boy bed. He no longer looks like he's 10 feet long lying there in that little bed. There is even room in his bed now for Momma to lay down with him.

3. Still in ICU, but in his own room. It's quieter and more space. Hopefully everyone can rest a little better tonight.

4. Chowing down on grape popsicles. He loved the first one he had this afternoon and his nurse has told him he can have all the popsicles he wants!!! You know he'll take advantage of that.

5. He took his first steps since before the surgery. He walked from the bed to the potty. Granted, it's only about 4 feet (if that), but he walked over, stood there and did his thing. Momma carried him back, but it was a positive step.

6. The drainage tubes are looking better with less drainage. They tested him and found that his vitamin K was low which helps thicken the blood. They gave him some vitamin K and they also backed off of the heparin (blood thinner). That all seemed to help alleviate the oozing. The nurse said that the tubes could possibly come out tomorrow.

I was there this afternoon for several hours. He was still pretty sleepy, but doing well. I just talked to Chris to find out how he did while we all went and got dinner (FatBurger if anyone is interested!). She said he was wide awake when they came back. He's watching Thomas movies now. So he should be pretty happy.

She did say he has a low grade temperature of about 101. They gave him Tylenol, but they are not real concerned, just watchful.

Thank you all for the continued love and support.
Auntie Roo(Rhonda)

Latest news...

Day After Surgery
Posted 23 minutes ago

Trevor did pretty well over night. He started drinking water last night. Had a hard time keeping it down for a little while, but we're past that now. He's still only drinking a little bit though. Two of his drain tubes were oozing, and that was concern but that seems to be clearing itself up now too, but we'll still have to watch it. Dr Schaffer stopped by and said, "He's fine. If he has a good heart rate and warm feet that's a good sign there isn't a problem".

So that's all for now. Hopefully we will be walking later today. He will moved to a private room in the CICU which will be nice.

That's all for now. Thanks for all the warm wishes and prayers.

Love to all!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


TMann's surgery is DONE!!! He came through it like a real trouper. It went smoothly.

Here are some updates from his web page:
Surgery today
Posted 11 hours ago
Well, now it is just a waiting game. We checked in at 6:00a. Trevor got his "pajamas" on...vitals were taken...and toys were played with. Then we found out that they had a Thomas movie, it was all over then.
They gave him Versed to calm him down before they took down to the OR. It made him very loopy so by the time that it was time for them to take him down nothing bothered him at all. It was the cutest thing. The nurse came to pick him up, and he thought that was great!!! He had a big grin on his face, as she picked him up and it was almost like he was thinking, SHE IS CUTE!!! He then put his arm around her neck and laid his head on her shoulder, and off they went. We watched him go down the hall, and it didn't bother him at all. After he went through the doors, the tears on our end started.
We've gotten a couple updates from Esther, Dr LaCour-Gayet's right hand person. Anyway, it's 10:10a and they have gotten through the breast bone and are now getting through the scar tissue to get to his heart. She will come and give us another update when he is on the heart/lung machine. They are AWESOME here.
That's all for now. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and prayers.

Update 2:35p
Posted 7 hours ago
The procedure is done. Esther said he did great. They had him off the heart and lung machine once, and decided they wanted to take a better look at the blood flow in his right artery, so they put him back on the heart/lung machine, undid the conduit graft and got a better look at it. The surgeon concluded that there was no problem, so he re-did the graft and got him back off the heart/lung machine.
As of about 1:30p they had to finish closing him up. Now he is in the CICU doing great, but the unit is locked down for a sterile procedure so we won't be able to see him for another 20 minutes or so.
Did I say this place is AWESOME!!!
Love to all!!!

Posted 1 hour ago
Well, we’re just hanging out here in the CICU with Trevor. He is still doing great. They took the breathing tube out about 5:00p, and by 6:00p he was drinking water. He is such a trooper. They say he will be up walking tomorrow. So now we’ll see how he does over night. Harold and I have a sleep room here at the hospital, but we’ll probably be staying right here in the CICU with Trevor and just get cleaned up in the morning in the room that we have reserved.
A funny story though…Trevor really is Thomas (the tank engine’s) biggest fan. Right after he got his breathing tube out, the nurse was asking him if it was “Thomas the Train” or “Thomas the Engine”, and in his feeble little scratchy voice he was able to say, “it’s Thomas the Tank Engine”. We (including the nurse) were cracking up.
Well, that’s all for now. Auntie Roo should be posting some pictures soon.
So that's the latest on our little man. I'll post more as he progresses.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Friday is the day...

The time has come for TMann's second heart surgery. He will go to Children's Hospital on Friday, April 10. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. that day. We're anticipating a 4-5 day stay.
Here is a previous post explaining his condition.

Here is some additional information from his Mommy too:

"As far as I know, the first part was already during his first surgery and this surgery on the 10th is to install the "tube" or conduit, as Dr Schaffer referred to it, called the Rastelli repair.'To do a complete repair, the surgeon closes the ventricular septal defect with a patch and opens the right ventricular outflow tract by removing some thickened muscle below the pulmonary valve, repairing or removing the pulmonary valve and enlarging the peripheral pulmonary arteries that go to both lungs. Sometimes a tube is placed between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. This is sometimes called a Rastelli repair.'
The above information is courtesy of"

Please keep him in your prayers throughout these next few weeks as he undergoes the surgery and goes through his recovery.

I love you Boo-Boo.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 1909

(circa 1943) April 4, 1909, Anna Emily Elizabeth (Lange) Rankin was born. She is my paternal Grandmother. She would have been 100 years old today, April 4, 2009. However, she passed away on October 24, 1994.

I was fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time with her throughout my life. In fact, my Sis and I even lived with her and Grandpa for about six months, back in 1969. We baked, we shopped, we fished, we camped, and we played lots of games. One of the funniest things we did was when we would go tromping through the dump searching fo
r treasures. We found some good things there sometimes.

Happy Birthday Grandma. I love you!!!

(Taken 2 months before she passed, August 1994)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Going Wireless

I took the laptop over to Best Buy yesterday morning to have the Geak Squad check out the wireless capabilities. I've never attempted a wireless connection. Turns out that with the laptop being about 5 years old, the internal network card wasn't working so I had to buy a card. My original purpose for doing this is so that we have the laptop available next month while TMann is in the hospital. I know that my Sis will be spending a good deal of time there for a few days. So I decided to make sure that she (and I) could use the laptop with their Wi-Fi network while she's there if she wants to do so.

When I got home and got the card installed, I opened up a whole new world! I've temporarily hooked into a neighbor's wireless network (thank you whoever you may be!) and am really enjoying it. I can hang out in the livingroom and play around on the Internet. I don't have to park myself in the office and work at the desktop computer. However, because I don't know where the wireless connection is coming from, the signal is not real strong and therefore not real reliable. Also, because the signal is pretty weak, I don't have all of the same capabilities. I can't do download or instant messaging and Internet pages are slow to load.

The bottom line here is I've nearly convinced myself that I better see about setting up my own network setup. It might force me to get more use out of the laptop. It's just been sitting around gathering dust for the last couple of years except for any occassional use once in a while. Besides, the couch is much more comfortable than the diningroom chair in the office.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thomas & Friends - Live! On Stage

TMann's favorite character (yes... even before Lightning McQueen) is THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE. ANYTHING Thomas he just loves. So imagine his delight when his Mama decided that we all needed to go see THOMAS & FRIENDS - LIVE! ON STAGE. Last Saturday the 5 of us (Mama, Trevor, Mimi, Papa & Auntie Roo) made the 90 minute drive to see this show. I have to admit, it was pretty cute and TMann absolutely loved it. It was well worth the drive and the company was great!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Pet-Peeve

Why do the businesses that install these toilet paper dispensers insist on mounting them below knee level when you're seated? It's fine when there is a new roll in the dispenser, but when the roll starts to run out, it's nearly impossible to get a hold of the end of the roll from that angle!!! I'm just saying...

Are They Really to Blame?

Recently there is a lot of talk in Colorado about making talking on your cell phone and driving illegal unless you're using a hands-free device. From my own personal observations I have to wonder, ARE CELL PHONES REALLY TO BLAME? Ok... in some cases yes, but read on.

I drive about 17 miles one way twice a day to get to work and home again. I drive quite a bit around town for extra curricular activities as well. All in all I drive about 250+/- miles a week. It has been my observation that people have forgotten how to drive; they've forgotten the rules of the road (myself included sometimes!!!).

Here are a few examples:

1. When I leave my home and go to the main thoroughfare, I am entering a 3-lane roadway from a 4-way intersection. The other day, I was making my usual right tun on to the roadway. The traffic from the opposite direction had the green light and arrow. To go the same direction I was going there is a double left turn. I went ahead and made my right turn into the nearest lane on the right. One of the drivers making a left proceeded to make his turn and turn in to MY LANE and then proceeded to shout at me and throw hands and fingers at me indicating I was in the wrong. Hello Fellow Driver... YOU WERE WRONG. You should have been in the MIDDLE lane not the right lane. As far as I know there was no reason that I should not have been making my right turn while the oncoming traffic was making their left turns... 3 lanes, 3 cars. Anyone disagree?

2. What are those sticks/knobs on the left side of the steering column? HELLO! They are TURN SIGNAL INDICATORS!!! USE THEM!!! I see so many people on the highways and byways continually changing lanes and never using their turn signals or not using them long enough. Here is what the COLORADO DMV DRIVER HANDBOOK says about how long you should signal:
  • In urban or metropolitan areas, you must signal
    continuously for 100 feet before making a turn or a
    lane change.
  • At speeds above 40 m.p.h. you must signal
    continuously for 200 feet before making a turn or
    lane change.

What people don't realize is if they would use their turn signals they may have an easier time of making those lane changes. I for one do watch for those signals and (if I the person hasn't already ticked me off!) if possible I will try to back off and let them pull over in front of me.

3. When someone in front of you is trying to make a lane change or turn, don't ride up on their tail end. Not only does it make people mad, but you're risking an accident if the person in front has to stop suddenly. Just this morning someone did this to me. I was making a lane change and because traffic was slow, I had to slow down to get over. The person in the other lane was kind enough to let me over, but the person behind me was right on my bumper. As I finished the lane change, the person behind me went zipping around and did his own lane change two cars ahead of me. Funny thing is we both continued down the highway and he ended up behind me by the time I exited anyway. So... how far did your little race get ya Bud?

4. The really big one is... what do you do when an emergency is approaching? So many people just don't even pay attention. Here is what the COLORADO DMV DRIVER HANDBOOK says:

You must yield the right-of-way to all emergency vehicles using a siren, air horn, and/or flashing red, blue or white lights. Where possible, you must pull over to the right edge of the road. If you are in an intersection, drive through the intersection before you pull over. On a roadway with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, if you are approaching an emergency vehicle that has stopped along the side of the road, when possible you must leave at least one lane between your vehicle and the emergency vehicle by changing lanes, unless directed otherwise by a police officer or emergency personnel or conditions prohibit the lane change. If the road only has one lane on your side, or you cannot change lanes, slow down to a safe speed and use due care and caution as you pass.

So, back to cell phones and driving... I'm sorry but there are some people that should not do anything but drive when they are in the driver's seat... don't talk to passengers, don't mess with the radio, don't discipline your child, don't even scratch your nose! They just are not capable of multi-tasking even in the simplest of forms. YES, I do agree that the cell phones can be distracting (and I admit that I do drive and talk on the cell phone), but use good judgement people. For instance, if the drive is treacherous... bad weather, horrible traffic, whatever, HANG UP AND DRIVE!!! People need to take responsibility for themselves and their abilities, or lack their of. Again, use good judgement.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this law. One point that I do agree with is that teen drivers will not be allowed to drive and talk on the cell phones at all, hands-free or not. They do not have enough experience to be able to handle that. Tackle one thing at a time. One point that I'm have a hard time with is the fact that on-duty law enforcement and safety personnel will be exempt from this law. How do we know that they are not on personal calls as they are driving down the road in their patrol vehicles and/or other emergency vehicles? I realize they use the cell phones as part of their job, but it just sticks in my "craw."

And one last thing... how is a hands-free device any safer than just talking on the phone itself? You're still talking and not focusing all of your attention on driving, you're just not holding it in your hand...

So get out there and BE SAFE!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Florida Update

Ok.. so in my original rant about the rental home in Florida, I indicated that I was considering contacting the BBB of Central Florida. I did send them an email on February 11. Until this week I hadn't heard anything so I figured they were blowing me off. Well I did get a response this week. It doesn't say a whole lot, but at least it will be on file and if anyone else should have problems in the future they'll have more than one complaint.

re: Elite Florida Vacation Homes, Inc., case #9E20-8F3%
Dear Rhonda Rankin:
We have received your correspondence concerning your experience with the company. It is unfortunate you have had this experience. We regret the necessity of your letter, but appreciate that you have taken the time to bring this matter to our attention.
Your letter will remain in our files as a matter of record. If you care to advise the BBB of the final outcome of this matter, we will be glad to include it in our file. The information you have provided will be maintained in the Better Business Bureau's file for a three (3) year period.
We appreciate your using the services of the Better Business Bureau. Remember, our complaint and inquiry services are available 24/7 by calling our automated phone system or by visiting our web site at To use our automated phone system, please have the telephone number of the company available when calling, including the area code or toll free prefix.
Phyllis Coleman
Consumer Affairs, ext. 332

I also contacted the Florida Department of Health. They responded that this did not fall under their umbrella, however, I should contact the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. I filed a complaint via their web site and received this response:

The Division of Consumer Services, Bureau of Mediation and Enforcement, has received your complaint concerning the above referenced business. Thank you for filing your complaint with this office. Often it is only through correspondence from concerned and responsible citizens that we become aware of consumer issues.
I have mailed a copy of your complaint to the business and have asked the business to respond to the allegations. I will review the response and contact you with a status update. Please be aware that this process may take between 30 and 60 days.
If you have any additional documentation to support your allegations that you did not include with your initial mailing, I would appreciate you forwarding that information to my attention as soon as possible. Please include the reference number displayed above on future correspondence and address any questions or concerns to my attention. Examples include, but may not be limited to proof of payment to the business, receipts, estimates (front and back), advertisements, copy of a contract (front and back), or any correspondence with the business you think might assist in understanding your complaint.
Richard Otway
Regulatory Consultant
Fax: 850-410-3801

I'll update as or if I hear more.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey, GOOD DAY!

I just read a post on a friend's Facebook page and then checked MSN.COM. Paul Harvey has died. To quote one of the replies on that same Facebook page, "It's like America's grandfather is gone." It's so very true.

I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on the radio from time to time, because my Grandparents always loved to listen to him. When I got older I tuned in on my own. He had a voice that was very easy to listen to.

I was lucky enough, in 2002, to see him speak, in person. He was pretty much the same, but since he was not on the air, his language was not quite as reserved. He was not vulgar or obscene, but he truly made his opinion known.

You and your charm will be greatly missed Mr. Harvey. GOOD DAY!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My (Our) Sweet Valentine

TMan has a lot happening over the next couple of months. See, he was born with a heart defect, a hole in his heart, more specifically called TRETALOGY OF FALLOT. The link will take you to WebMD to get more information about the defect. It's complicated, but as you've seen from pictures (and some of you have seen him in person), you'd never know he's got this problem.

He had open heart surgery before he was even 2 MONTHS old. A patch was placed over the hole in his heart to impede the leakage of blood. Little boys grow (thankfully), but the patches do not. So, he's nearly 4 years old now and it's time to make another repair. To prepare for this, he is going to have a cardiac MRI done on Monday, March 2 at Children's Hospital. While it's not a risky procedure, he will be sedated during the procedure and that is supposed to take 2-3 hours. They will be looking at his arteries and aortas to see if they are large enough now to insert tubes. If I understand the whole thing correctly, this would mean that this will be the last invasive surgery he'll have to have for this defect. If they are able to insert the tube all future procedures will be able to be done through a scope, like angioplasties and things of that nature. If his arteries are not big enough they will have to put on a new patch. That will mean that later on down the road (maybe when he's about 10 years old) he'll have to have another surgery. We are truly hopeful that they will be able to go the tube route so that no more open heart surgeries will be required after this one.

The actual surgery (for which ever procedure is going to be done) is scheduled for April 10. I would like to ask each of you to include him in your prayers. I know I'm a little prejudice, but he is such a special and unique little boy. He deserves to grow up and have a wonderful, happy and healthy life.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Need Your Opinion ...

Our trip to Florida was fun, but I have to tell you first of all about the management company with whom we dealt. What a nightmare! I'll warn you, DON'T EVER RENT FROM EVERGREEN FLORIDA VACATION HOMES or ELITE FLORIDA VACATION HOMES. Their employees are rude, nasty and couldn't care less about customer service. (02/11/09) I just found out they also are associated with VACATION RENTALS BY OWNER & MAGIC VACATION VILLAS. There may be others, so watch out for the names shown below in labels area.

I would like for you to read what I present here and then give me your opinion of how you think the company (EFVH) and we handled this.

Let me tell you up front, this is a long post, but I want to give you the details so you can judge for yourself as to whether we were overly demanding.

So... here we go:

The week of December 6-13, 2008 there were 11 of us that made this trip to Florida:

Barry & Julye (Mom's brother & sister-in-law)
Mom & Dad
Chris, Harold, Ashleigh & Trevor (Sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew)
Gayle & Harold (Mom's sister & brother-in-law)
and me.

Barry & Julye flew in on Friday from SLC and the rest of us all flew in together on Saturday from Denver. We could not get into the rental house until 4 p.m. on Saturday. While the rest of us were picking up our luggage and rental cars Barry & Julye went out to the house and tried to enter. Here is where our first admitted mistake happened. Barry had not read all of the entry instructions. In the past, the houses we've rented had a 4-digit code that was entered on key pad on the door and that released the lock. No, this place used those realtors lockboxes. He did not understand that once the code was entered the front of the box opened and there was a key inside the box. Have you ever tried to work those? Once you know how to work them it's not too bad, but try entering the numbers in the dark... yes... the front porch light was burnt out.

After fighting with it for a while, Barry tried to call the management company and did not get an answer. He called me and asked me to call. I got an answer. The man did not introduce himself and if he greeted me with the name of the company it was mumbled because I didn't hear it. I had to ask if I had reached the correct company. Nothing was said about being on the phone with another client or that he would return any calls. We exchanged several calls between ourselves as well as several between one of us and the management company. The man on the phone (I personally never understood what the name was when I was talking to him) was insistent that the lock worked as he had just been there earlier in the day. His immediate reaction when Sis talked to him was that if he had to make a trip out to the house to let us in, we would be charged $60. Well, with no thanks to, or compassion from, the management person we did finally get the door figured out and were into the house.

Our next battle was the pool. We were to be in Florida for 7 nights. So we paid an extra $15 a day for pool heat for 7 days. Our expectation was that when we went to get into the pool that first night that we would have a heated pool. WRONG! So, again, Sis called the management office about this issue and was informed that the heat was indeed on. He had turned it on himself about 11 a.m. that morning; however, it takes 24 hours to heat. If that was the case and we were scheduled to arrive after 4 p.m. on Saturday, why was it not turned on the day before? In essence they charged us for pool heat knowing that it would not be warm that first night.

During the conversation, this man became very abusive and threatening. He informed Sis that we were the most troublesome tenants that they had and had received at least 11 calls from us that day. He informed her that he was ready to tell us to pack our bags and get out of the property. If we had had any other options we would have, but unfortunately we were stuck and he knew that. Sis was in tears when she hung up. Thank you very much EFVH for getting our vacation off to a GREAT start.

We let things go until Monday night when we got back from the park as we still did not have adequate heat in the pool. We (as a team) composed an email to the woman with whom Sis had been working when she reserved the house. Barry had brought his laptop, so we were able to get Internet connections and email.

Here is that email:

I'm e-mailing you because we are having a problem with our pool heat, and I'm afraid to call your "property manager". When I spoke to him on Saturday, I was treated very poorly. He was was very rude and condescending. I actually felt humiliated after I talked to him. I was basically threatened with eviction for calling too many times. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication among our party about how to get into the house. If the "property manager" had either answered the phone the first time or returned a phone call when we first started trying to reach him, he might not have received so many calls. Well, we finally got in, and I'm sorry we had such a problem on a Saturday. I did apologize for being a "problem resident", but that meant nothing because he was rude from the get go.

Unfortunately, I had to call him again about the pool heat, because I thought that since we paid for pool heat that the pool would be heated on the first night, as did everyone else in our party. When I was trying to get that straightened out, he finally told us to pack our stuff and leave, he was tired of getting so many calls from us. I felt humiliated, couldn't believe he would tell us to do that, let alone, talk to me (the customer) like that. I have to tell you, I was in tears after hanging up with him. Honestly, we are probably the most conscientious residents you will ever have, but we do expect to get what we pay for. Well, he told me it wasn't his fault that the weather outside has been so cold, and he explained that he turned the heat on Saturday afternoon, and that it will not be heated right away, but that it should be heated the following night. Well, here it is Monday night, and we are still unable to swim in the pool due to the temperature. That's 3 nights of PAID pool heat that we have not been able to utilize.

After reading the "Guest Book" to see if there was something we are supposed to be doing, that we might not be (due to the fact that I'm scared to call the property manager) we noticed that there is supposed to be a "pool blanket" somewhere. There isn't and never has been a pool blanket anywhere to be found. That could be the problem, but honestly, Karyn, we've been coming here and renting houses for the last 10 years, and we've never had a "pool blanket" and also have never had problem with the pool heat, and if that is the problem, I am SCARED to call this guy. When I spoke to him on Saturday, he was very adamant about not NEEDING to come out here because he was just here a couple hours before, and inspected the house, and was POSITIVE everything was in working order. That is fine, but if he would have been a little more tactful about trying to help us, you probably wouldn't even be hearing from us right now.

We would really love to swim after we get home from the parks, but we cannot, and we are not sure what to do? We've paid for pool heat, shouldn't we be able to use the pool?

I would appreciate your assistance in resolving our issues so that we may enjoy the remainder of our vacation because it really got off to a BAD start. We are enjoying the house in general, but the pool issue is extremely disappointing.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


It turns out that this woman was one of the owners of this management company so we thought there would be a little bit of compassion displayed by her. Again WRONG!

Here is her reply:

Dear Ms. , I am attaching a copy of the rental terms and conditions that you received at the time of booking. Please note that in these terms it states that if the outdoor temperatures drop below 55 degrees, the pool heater will not heat the pool. There are no refunds or rebates on pool heat. Sincerely, Karyn

As Sis pointed out, we never once, in all of this mess requested a refund. If they chose to read it that way, that was their mistake.

While we were out at the park on Tuesday, the management guy called Sis on her cell phone to inform her that he had just been to house and that the pool was sufficiently warm. He also informed her that he had the repaired the torn screen which we had obviously torn since it was not in that condition when he was there on Saturday. WRONG DUDE! That was one of the items on our list of things that were wrong with the house that we started as soon as Sis talked to him the last time on Saturday. We had not even been out around the pool except to look at it.

When we arrived home that night this was the email that was waiting for us:

Mrs .,

It is amazing how one sided your argument really is. In this world you reap what you sow and if you had spoken to us with the respect and manner that you crave, you would have received a more amicable response. Instead, you opted to go on the offensive and insinuate that we are liars, so what do you expect? You might get away with that here but the customer is not always right when they are wrong. The fact that you are the customer does not give you free license to be patronising and of an "I want" attitude.

When you called about not being able to operate the lockbox, we were actually with another client. Yes, another client. That means somebody else in this world other than you. We did speak with you and get you into the home, even if the lockbox at the home could have been operated by a two year old yet you all collectively struggled. Not our fault. In fact, two of you called at the same time and whilst I was speaking to one, the other's call went to voicemail.

As Karyn correctly points out, the temperature is very cold and we have no control over that as the equipment will not operate. This is something that we tell you about in our literature. It is December in Florida with various coldfronts hitting the state on a regular basis. A member of your party seemed to think it was like boiling water in a kettle, which just goes to show just how much you really know about pools and poolheat. We inspect our homes and the equipment before and after every guest, personally.

Your email just lacks any kind of common sense or perspective and is completely one sided.

That email was signed by someone named Daniel.

Then there was this one from Philip

Ms ,

Following our conversation earlier today, I wanted to respond to you myself. Daniel did a good job of explaining to you in his reply exactly how we felt on Saturday night with your constant calls. I do not want to go over old ground but your entire approach to this is so self centered and I want to make sure you understand our perspective on these matters.

On Saturday we received 11 calls from you, which was more than we got from every other home we manage combined. My understanding is that you were not even there. Some of your party were and they were trying to ring us at the same time as you. How you could possibly know what was going on is beyond me but the fact that you immediately went on the offensive given only one side of the story is what complicated matters. Of those eleven calls, we answered five, three more we could not answer because we were talking to you while your other members were trying to call. The other three went to voicemail because we were actually with another client who was not too happy about the constant interruptions from somebody that he personally claimed would be a problem guest to us.

You claim that we did not answer the phone which is simply not true. But even when we did, you were aggressive and accusatory and if there is one way to wind us up, you found it. This "customer is always right" bullshit does not work with us because we are in a business where more than a few clients come to town with an agenda and try and enforce that agenda from the moment they arrive by causing trouble and laying the ground down for compensation. We have been doing the job long enough to spot these people a mile away and we are skeptical when anybody contacts us adopting your tone.

For the record, although the lockbox worked perfectly fine, we do have an emergency lockbox for occasions when guests are unable to use it correctly. We did give you the lockbox number for entry purposes and you got in the home within minutes of actually calling us. With all respect, you try getting most management companies to answer the phone on a Saturday night and see how many of them respond as quickly as we did.

Your other issue, which occurred within minutes of you getting in the house, was the pool heat. A guest pays for pool heat by the night. You paid for seven nights, the first night of that was Saturday. I personally turned on the heater at around 11am. The outside temperature was still only 54 degrees and the low overnight had been in the mid-30's. This heater is not a kettle. To heat 12,000 gallons of water, a machine has to work hard. For it to work in conditions that it was not designed for is impossible. To try and combat this, and knowing the temperatures would not pick up until now, I left the heater running for 24 hours a day instead of the usual 16. At best, the water temperature was only going to get to 10 degrees above of the outside air temperature.

I got no thanks for this but then I didn't expect any from you. I came around to the home on Sunday and checked the heater again and everything was working normally and the water temperature was higher though not 85 degrees. This had nothing to do with us. I cannot control the climate and it is made clear to every guest who orders pool heat what the risks are. I was at the home again when I called you today and the pool registered a temperature of 82 degrees at around 11:30am.

The fact that you said it did not feel like 82 degrees has nothing to do with me. You have already called me a liar, are you now saying that my thermostat is lying as well?

Contrary to my own feelings regarding you, I am leaving the equipment running 24 hours a day and hopefully your pool will stay warm now that temperatures have improved. At my initial expense, I have also asked for a pool blanket to be fitted this afternoon. This is at the discretion of the owner and as of today, I have not received his approval to purchase a blanket. I have also asked my maintenance man to replace the pool screen that is torn on the corner of the pool deck. It was not like that when you moved in and is easily chargable but I am scared to ask you to pay for it as I would hate to ruin your vacation anymore.

You may be frightened of me Ms ... but you really need to look at the way you talk to people. If you can't handle the response then don't provoke the discussion.

Enjoy your vacation,

Philip referred to the fact he got no thanks from us for leaving the pool heater on for 24 hours instead of the normal 16 hours. That was never mentioned until this email. You can't thank someone for something you know nothing about. At this point we decided our complaints were falling on deaf ears and we decided to let it drop for the rest of the trip. However, when we got home (back to Colorado, Utah, Nebraska, etc) we composed another team email as one last protest of the way we were treated. This is our email:

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2008 11:54:16 -0600

Wow. Not one, but two abusive, accusing e-mails, that even contain foul language, and from the "President" of the company no less.

Well, I had to let this go until I could come home and let it all sink in, as to what REALLY happened in Florida. I actually went to your website, and read all the HYPE about how you take pride in your homes, and expect that every client will be a "repeat client". Well, if we are any example of how you treat your "repeat clients", good luck with that. Word of mouth just happens to be the BEST form of advertisement, and just to let you know, you will be getting a lot of free "advertising" from our party. We have been coming to the Kissimmee area for the past ten years and renting houses, which I know is no comparison to the 5 long years you have been in business, however, we always get asked where we've stayed, how we liked it, etc. We have always recommended places we have stayed in the past, but I will do my best to advise anyone and everyone that I can (thanks to the World Wide Web) to steer clear of evergreen florida vacation homes, (formerly elite florida vacation homes) or any company that is associated with efvh, or phil, dan and wendy young. After the way we were treated, and the condition of the house itself, I can certainly see why "Dinville" was still available at such a late date. It also makes me wonder why your name changed from elite to evergreen. Almost makes me think you HAD to change it.

As for an "AGENDA and seeking COMPENSATION", our only "AGENDA and COMPENSATION" we were seeking was to have a fun and relaxing vacation that we have been planning for TWO years. I know you don't know what that is like, because the way you treat your clients, you obviously have all the business you need. We worked long and hard to save for this vacation, and were so excited to rent this nice house with a nice pool, etc. We were very excited to get to the house, and when we had trouble getting in, (which again, I apologized for, but it meant nothing), we got a little anxious. It was obvious, you didn't want to be BOTHERED on a SATURDAY.

After we experienced what we did with evergreen florida vacation homes, I was very upset that we actually gave people like you our business. I will let anyone and everyone read the e-mails that were sent in reply to our request for "help". I will also make it known that we were "threatened" not once, but twice. Once with being evicted, and twice with having our pool heat shut off because we were wanting a refund. Forgive us for wanting pool heat for our ENTIRE stay rather than just 4 of the 7 days that we paid for. As I said on the phone, not anywhere did I ever ask for a refund. All we wanted was Pool Heat. And isn't it funny that after I mentioned that the handbook stated we should have a pool blanket, that one showed up. Even after you argued with me that it didn't state that, and that I should re-read the handbook and see how it says "use the pool blanket 'where available'". It's obvious that you re-read your own handbook to find out that it actually said the "pool heat will not work efficiently if the pool blanket is not used." It's also funny how the pool heat seemed to be fine after the pool blanket was supplied. I've never dealt with such evil, suspicious people in my life. I also can't believe that people would use your company to manage their property, but that is something they will have to deal with.

You mentioned that the pool area screen was ripped or torn and it wasn't that way when you "inspected" the home. Well, that could very well be, however, it must have then happened in the very short window of time between your "inspection" and our arrival, because that is actually on our list of issues that we had with the house. I guess it's IMPOSSIBLE that it could have been overlooked when you inspected the house before we arrived, even though it wasn't even noticeable unless a breeze came up. I actually thought someone might have ripped it in order to get in and take the pool blanket we were supposed to have, but after speaking to you on the phone, I knew that we never had a pool blanket in the
first place.

Here is a list of issues we had with the house. After talking to you on the phone that first night we thought it necessary to bring these things up, just to let you know, that things WERE overlooked during your "inspection" and everything was not in "PERFECT" working order as you stated. Again, we wouldn't even be bringing this stuff up, nor would you be hearing from us, had we experienced some good, old fashioned customer service.

  • 1. MOLD in all the showers. We actually went out and bought Clorox cleaner so we would feel comfortable stepping in the showers. GROSS!!!

  • 2. The front porch light was burnt out, so we had to try and enter the combo to the lockbox every night in the dark.

  • 3. The handle on the sliding glass door actually fell off. We had to do our best to screw it back on without a screw driver.

  • 4. Pool screen ripped. Not really noticeable until a breeze came up. (That was actually fixed during our stay, and after being ACCUSED of ripping it.)

  • 5. Bolts had fallen out of the pool table. That could have caused injury had one of the persons in our party not been able to put them back in, and again, without a screwdriver. It also slants.

  • 6. The air hockey game had all the pucks shoved in the goal of one side. We had to dig those out in order for the kids to play.

  • 7. Glob of previous guests shaving cream in the sink of the master queen bathroom. GROSS!!!

  • 8. Outlets to the right of the kitchen sink didn't work. Not sure why they didn't work but could be a fire hazard.

  • 9. Left arm on the loveseat in living area right off of the kitchen was broken, flattened somehow. Looks like someone might have sat on it and flattened it. Which can be seen in your virtual tour of your property. (02/10/09 - just checked the virtual tour and it has been changed. The broken loveseat arm can longer be seen)

  • 10. Main bathroom upstairs, toilet door does not latch.

  • 11. Cable connection, in the twin bedroom at the front of the house, and downstairs bedroom, not fastened to wall.

  • 12. No back to remote.

  • 13. Carpet had some bad spots on it.

  • 14. The blind valance in the tub area of the main bathroom upstairs was not attached. It was lying in the window sill.

  • 15. No towel rack in the tub area of the main bathroom of the upstairs bathroom, but there was one in the toilet area... seems a little backwards.

  • 16. Moldy, dirty pool toys left by previous guests. GROSS!!!

    We are NOT asking for a refund, which, I know is the only thing that matters to you, however, we simply found it ironic how your web-site and every piece of literature you supply for your clients specifically states how much "pride" you take in your homes. Your property owners might be interested in how their properties are "managed" and what "pride" means to you.

    Some final thoughts as I reflect back on this entire situation. Having worked in customer service positions ourselves, it doesn't matter who was wrong or right, or if there was a problem or not. Whether you know it or not, and I'm guessing NOT, it is your job to put a CUSTOMER at ease about their purchase. $1500 is a large purchase, and a customer only wants to know they didn't waste their money. If the CUSTOMER is having difficulty, for WHATEVER REASON, it IS your job to put them at ease, whether it's a Saturday or not. That IS the nature of your business. Obviously there was not a problem with the lockbox, but a friendly voice saying "well, try this or that" would have been nice, instead of threatening that you are going to charge us $60 if you have to come out. The pool heat, well that's another story, but again, a friendly voice explaining what the problem was would have been nice too, however, don't accuse a customer of not reading the handbook clearly, when you are not sure of what it says yourself. (speaking of the pool blanket, of course). And for the record, I was not the first one to speak with you. It happened to be my sister. I actually thought I was the only one to take your verbal abuse, but she said "no, he was kind of rude when I talked to him also."

    As I stated in my previous e-mail, we are probably the most conscientious clients you will ever come across, and I'm sure you found that when you inspected the house after we left. It was in the same, if not better condition than when we arrived. (I'll say better because of the simple fact there was no more mold in the showers).

    No need to respond to this e-mail and dig yourself a deeper hole. We just wanted to let you know, as I mentioned above, that our only AGENDA was to have a nice vacation. PERIOD!!! I would like to thank you for putting a damper on that. I imagine that was YOUR AGENDA. This e-mail is only being sent to accomplish one thing, and that is to let you know how dissatisfied we were with your "service". Your e-mails responding to our request for "help" were appalling. After those were sent, and after what happened over the phone, anything that you felt you did to go above and beyond the call of duty was too little too late. We have never been treated so badly before in our lives, and don't plan on it ever happening again. Fortunately, you nor anyone in our party will ever have to deal with each other again.

    Our satisfaction comes from knowing that WORD OF MOUTH is the BEST form of advertisement, and in this economy, vacations are not a priority and business is very competitive.


  • And here is the pleasant response we received from them. OH and please note it is addressed to Dear SIR! All along they have known that they were dealing with a woman and suddenly it is MR and SIR.

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your mail. We do not have time to read it all right now but we do welcome all feedback.

    Like all companies, we unfortunately have to cater for very bad clients occasionally, some stupid ones too, and some both, as I am led to believe you were, by everyone you dealt with while in our home, and even before you arrived by all accounts.

    As a result of this, and your belated complaint below, my attorney has been sent a copy of your rather juvenile threats and action is being taken. You were the aggressor here, not the victim, and you really should be ashamed to suggest otherwise.

    There are 2 sides to every story Sir, and although I have not finished reading your rather savage document, it is obvious what you are saying, and I am very thankful that the 50,000 guests that have stayed with us prior to you, will testify to our service and the fact that we do take care of our clients. We have had many good guests and they do come back time and time again. That is good enough for us, and a real testimony to the job we try to do.

    We are proud of our record, our customer base, and our reputation. You should also remember too that we have a responsibility to the owners of these homes and if we see any guest in any of them, who we think represents a threat to that home, then we have a duty to the owner to be firm with that person and let them know in no uncertain way that they will be in trouble if they damage the property. We do not mess about, or compromise with such people, so you messed with the wrong guy here, if you thought you could
    abuse your way into our affections. You may call yourself conscientious Sir, but the condition you left the home in speaks differently. I did not complain to you because I half expected to find that, plus I did not want anything more to do with you, and besides that, I do get problems in homes occasionally and just get on with putting them right, while banning those responsible from ever staying with us again.

    You are, of course, banned. It goes without saying. We grade all our guests Sir, and you are a 1. I hope you are proud of that.

    Still, as I said, you will be hearing from us shortly, but in the meantime I suggest you seek some kind of professional help, and I mean that is a kind way Sir. People who do not have the ability to see their own faults are usually those in need of help the most, and you are in such denial that you may be beyond help, but it is worth a try I think.

    Please do not thank me for this advice, just take it. That will be reward enough.

    And when you have done that, then hopefully you will have matured enough to know that when you call a company, any company, mouth off as you did, start rabbitting on about being the customer therefore I am always right, and displaying a level of ignorance that we have seldom seen before, then well, you really do deserve everything that comes back.

    If you cannot handle that, then you really should not provoke the discussion. Or to put it another way, if you live in a glass house, dont start chucking stuff around!.

    Now, go back to Munchkin land, or wherever you are from, click your heels together three times and say there is no place like an Evergreen home and before you know it
    you will be back here again, apologizing for being such a really bad guest the first time, and begging us for forgiveness, which of course we will do. I will never let you stay in one of my homes again, but I will forgive you, because this is a time for forgiveness, is it not, and no matter how unintelligent, ignorant, or abusive that person might be, if we cannot find it in our hearts to forgive them at Christmas, what kind of world would it be.

    As I said, we will be back in touch soon.

    You have a great New Year and a prosperous 2009.


    This one again was signed by Phil.

    None of us have responded to this one, although I’m still thinking about it. I’m also trying to decide if I should write the Better Business Bureau. I will admit, my family can be rather difficult to deal with sometimes and once you tick them off, it’s hard to get back in their good graces. However, I feel this approach by EFVH is completely uncalled for and lacks any resemblance of customer service.

    I really would like opinions from the outside world. I realize you are pretty much only getting our side of what transpired to start this, but you can see from both sides how everyone chose to deal with it.